Former presidents weigh in on George Floyd and riots
In a somewhat unique occurrence, all four living former presidents are weighing in on the current violent protests facing the nation.
Earlier this week President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton released statements on the death of George Floyd and racism in America.
“Laura and I are anguished by the brutal suffocation of George Floyd. It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country,” said Bush.
Bush called the protests “a strength” of America and said those who set out to silence those voices do not understand the meaning of America.
Clinton’s statement was much more direct and to the point.
“No one deserves to die the way George Floyd did. And the truth is, if you’re white in America, the chances are you won’t,” Clinton wrote.
On Wednesday, President Barrack Obama and President Jimmy Carter also chimed in on the current situation.
“In some ways as tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends,” Obama said. “And they offer an opportunity for us to all work together to tackle, to take them on, to change America and make it live up to its highest ideals.”
Obama also offered a personal message to young African Americans.
“I want you to know that you matter, I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter,” said Obama. “You have the power to make things better and you have helped to make the entire country feel as if this is something that’s got to change.”
President Carter released a statement with his wife Rosalynn.
“As a white male of the South, I know all too well the impact of segregation and injustice to African Americans. As a politician, I felt a responsibility to bring equity to my state and our country,” said Carter.
Carter added that people of power, privilege, and moral conscience must stand up and say “no more” to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, immoral economic disparities between whites and blacks, and government actions that undermine our unified democracy.
“We are responsible for creating a world of peace and equality for ourselves and future generations. We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this,” Carter added.
President Donald Trump was clearly not happy to hear from his predecessors.
“I’ve done more for Black Americans, in fact, than any President in U.S. history, with the possible exception of another Republican President, the late, great, Abraham Lincoln…and it’s not even close. The Democrats know this, and so does the Fake News, but they refuse to write or say it because they are inherently corrupt,” Trump tweeted.
Former presidents rarely involve themselves in current events believing that they should not criticize the man who currently holds the office they once did. The COVID-19 pandemic and now massive protests across the country have proven to be exceptions.
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